Paperback Publication: Say Nothing (Brad Parks) @BRAD_PARKS @DUTTONBOOKS

Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 7.14.42 PMI’m alive, folks!  I know I have been a little MIA over the past few weeks; I moved into a new apartment and have been completely preoccupied with life;  however, I had to crawl out of my blogging whole to celebrate the paperback publication for one of my favourite novels I read this year, Say Nothing by Brad Parks!

This book I have recommended countless times to family and friends who all feel the same as I do: this book is pure entertainment and absolutely unputdownable!

In case you missed my original review (and the reviews of Chandra and Jessica- this one was a #cjsreads pick!), you can find that here.  Otherwise, keep reading for a Q&A with Brad Parks!

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Book Review: Poison (Galt Niederhoffer) @StMartinsPress

Screen Shot 2017-11-21 at 4.21.33 PM.pngIt is no secret that I am a huge fan of the domestic thriller genre.  Give me an unreliable narrator and an up-to-no-good husband and I am hooked.  So, when #cjsreads decided to read Poison by Galt Niederhoffer, I was thrilled.  It seemed like the exact type of book that would keep me up late into the night.

The novel surrounds a picturesque family and their suburban life.  Cass and Ryan make up a newly blended family with their three children.  However, Ryan has a dark side, one that keeps Cass looking over her shoulder, and when she confronts Ryan about his fidelity, Cass begins to wonder if her life is at stake.  As tensions rise, Cass’s sanity is questioned and she begins to worry her children are at risk.

As I began my reading, one of the things that stood out the most for me was the style of Niederhoffer’s writing.  I was drawn in immediately, almost as if I was connecting with old friends.  The prose was familiar and inviting.  It had me turning the pages.

One of the cleverest things about this novel was the use of the title and the ties to the plot; the jealous nature of Cass is poisoning her relationship and Cass believes that Ryan is literally poisoning her.  I loved this play and exploration into literal and psychological poison.  I felt captivated as I watched the story unfold.  Is she actually crazy?  Is she correct?  Who do I believe?

I really like novels with strong characters and Poison fit this bill.  Ryan was incredibly creepy and I found Cass to be very unreliable.    I also loved how Niederhoffer constantly called into question the idea of the unreliable female and the doubt that those in the legal system have with women as the victim.  I felt like this is extremely prevalent in today’s society and I found myself questioning my own judgments and assessment of Cass throughout my reading.

However, I did have a few issues with this novel towards the end.  About 40% of the way into the novel, I did find parts of the novel beginning to drag quite a bit.  The idea of the poison is brought to light very early in the novel and teased in the synopsis, so it was very clear that Cass believed she was being poisoned.  However, this was constantly drilled home for the next 30% of the book.  It felt very redundant.  Also, although I loved the little twist in the end, the final resolution left me feeling as if it had come out of left field.

Regardless of this, I did enjoy the easy prose and the compelling plot enough to finish this book over the course of a few sittings.  This novel really gave me a B.A Paris vibe and I feel like fans of this author will really enjoy PoisonPoison is published today!  Be sure to add it to your TBR pile if you are a fan of the domestic genre!

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press, the author and Netgalley for a digital copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

I mentioned this was a #cjsreads pick; want to see what Jessica and Chandra thought of Poison? Keep reading to find out!

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Buzzworthy Book of 2018: The Chalk Man (C.J Tudor) @cjtudor @CrownPublishing

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Now that the end of the year is quickly approaching (like really quickly…what in the world is happening??!! How is time moving this fast??!) I have been gearing up to read all of my most anticipated 2018 titles. One of the titles I had been most eagerly awaiting was the highly talked about, psychological suspense novel, The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor.   Now that I have finished this novel, I can understand why there has been so much buzz surrounding it. Fast-paced, completely compelling and bingeable, I sat down and read this book in an entire sitting #sorrynotsorry. From the core mystery to the intricately woven characters, I am calling this one of my favourites of 2018, already!

The novel is told in two alternating time periods in the life of our protagonist, Ed. In the present, the loner high school English teacher lives with a lodger and keeps to himself, but, in the past, Ed, known as Eddie back then, was a part of a gang of kids whose lives changed forever after a summer of chalk men and a dismembered body in the woods. As past and present collide, Ed must confront his past and through several twists and turns, the truth of what happened in 1986 will be revealed.

So, first thing is first, I am shocked that this book is a debut. HOW?? HOW?? I can not get over the perfectly fleshed out characters, the timing of the plot and the sheer genius of the prose. The plot is perfectly rolled out, building suspense and leading the reader to its perfect resolution.   There were no muddled bits or confusing characters; everything felt like it fit and were equally important. This is so rare in any book, let alone a thriller! What. A. Debut.

My favourite thing about this book, by a landslide, was the characterization.  This book, from the opening of the first flashback chapters, had a dark “Goonies’ vibe to it.   I have seen the 80s revival thing done well with popular Netflix shows like Stranger Things but had never seen in accomplished in a novel. Tudor manages to do it expertly. The flashback chapters felt nostalgic and realistic; almost like it could have happened to any kid, in any place, over the course of any summer. This familiarity brought something chilling to the text and I was hooked.   Each character is so perfectly developed, from the protagonist down to the bullies; even the secondary characters had a clear image within the text. I was completely invested in them. Truthfully, the plot became secondary to me because I was so wrapped up in the characters.

This will be a book that I will be thinking about for a long time. If you want a book for the top of your TBR in 2018, make it this one. You won’t regret it.

Can I give a book 6 stars?

Thanks to the author, Netgalley and the publisher for the digital copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

We made this a #cjsreads pick; keep reading to see what Jessica and Chandra thought of this one (SPOILER ALERT: they loved it too)

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Blog Tour: Hell to Pay (Rachel Amphlett) @RachelAmphlett @emmamitchellfpr

Screen Shot 2017-11-19 at 8.12.03 AM.pngGood morning and happy Sunday!! Today, I am so thrilled to be hosting a spot on the Hell to Pay blog tour, the fourth book in the Detective Kay series, by Rachel Amphlett!

This series holds a near and dear place in my heart; not only is this series suspenseful, fast-paced and filled with non-stop action but Amphlett was the first author who ever approached me for a review on Clues and Reviews.  Cue the nostalgia.

After reading Amphlett’s previous novels in the series (Scared to Death, Will to Live, and One to Watch) I am so excited to tackle book four.  Shall we check out the synopsis?

When a road traffic accident on a dark autumn night uncovers a disturbing conspiracy, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter’s investigation exposes a ruthless serial killer exploiting vulnerable young women.

With her enemies unmasked and her career spiralling out of control, Kay’s determination to seek vengeance for the victims brings her dangerously close to those who want to silence her.

Undeterred, she uncovers the real reason behind a plot to destroy her career and sets in motion a terrifying chain of events.

Could Kay’s need for revenge be her undoing, or will she survive to see justice served?

For my spot on the tour today, I am incredibly excited to be able to bring you an extract!

Keep reading for a glimpse into the world of Detective Kay in Hell to Pay!

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Cover Reveal: Don’t Close Your Eyes (Holly Seddon) @hollyseddon

Good morning and welcome to Clues and Reviews.  I am so excited to be a part of the paperback cover reveal for Holly Seddon’s Don’t Close Your Eyes!   I read this one a while back with my #cjsreads counterparts and we were all seriously impressed by Seddon’s writing style and the stellar twist at the end.

In case you missed it, here is a synopsis!

Robin and Sarah weren’t the closest of twins. They weren’t even that similar. But they loved each other dearly. Until, in the cruellest of domestic twists, they were taken from one another. 

Now, in her early 30s, Robin lives alone. Agoraphobic and suffering from panic attacks, she spends her days pacing the rooms of her house. The rest of the time she watches – watches the street, the houses, the neighbours. Until one day, she sees something she shouldn’t…

And Sarah? Sarah got what she wanted – the good-looking man, the beautiful baby, the perfect home. But she’s just been accused of the most terrible thing of all. She can’t be around her new family until she has come to terms with something that happened a long time ago. And to do that, she needs to track down her twin sister.

But Sarah isn’t the only person looking for Robin. As their paths intersect, something dangerous is set in motion, leading Robin and Sarah to fight for much more than their relationship…

Without further ado, let’s check out the gorgeous paperback cover!

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Book Review: The Big Lie (Julie Mayhew) @Candlewick @JulieMayhew

Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 8.42.50 PM.pngI find myself drawn to the same books continuously. When it isn’t thrillers or suspense titles, you can find me stuck in a good romance or some historical fiction. Preferably, fiction set around the Second World War, tales of human resiliency and the rebellion fascinate me. Ironically, with all my changing genres, I don’t read a lot of novels in the YA genre, but when I do, I often find myself drawn to the dystopian sort. I love getting lost in this sort of “what if” world that feels too real, too close for comfort.   Needless to say, when I stumbled across The Big Lie, the upcoming novel by Julie Mayhew, a dystopian, coming of age, YA novel set in modern day Nazi occupied England, I threw this one at the top of my TBR pile and dove in.

The novel surrounds a young girl, Jessika, who is a model citizen living in Nazi-run England. She obeys her father, she tries to impress her elders and she is loyal to her country. However, her neighbour and best friend Clementine is not the same. Clem is loud and outspoken, much to Jess’ dismay.   The louder Clem gets, the more nervous Jess becomes until she finds herself wrapped up so tightly in Clem’s world that things start to feel confusing. Jess has always thought she was doing the right thing, but what happens when the right things start to feel wrong?

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Blog Tour: The Lido Girls (Alison Burnside) @Allie_Burns1 @NeverlandBT

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Good afternoon and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Lido Girls by Allie Burns.  I am thrilled to be able to bring you an extract for this historical fiction novel that is perfect for fans of Pam Evans and Gill Paul.

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Before we get to that, let’s check out the synopsis!

Change is in the air…

London, 1930s:

Natalie Flacker is tempted by the glamour of the new keep fit movement, but when she is dismissed from her prestigious job in PE she loses the life she so carefully built. Echoes of the war’s destruction still reverberate through her life, and now she is homeless, jobless and without prospects.

But connections made on a summer holiday, with her best friend Delphi, create opportunities. When Natalie is offered a summer job at a lido at the seaside, she jumps at the chance. But is she up to the challenge of taking on a group of unfit women in need of her help?

Set against the backdrop of the beginnings of the pioneering keep fit movement; this is a feel-good reminder of just what’s possible when you find the courage to follow your heart.

Spend a very British summer with The Lido Girls!

Sounds pretty stellar right?  Keep reading for an extract of this novel!

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